Dermot McLaughlin replies:
Joy Fitzgerald’s point is one that I anticipated in response to my ‘In Safe Hands?’ article and it’s a point that she could/should have made at the time of publication of my ‘Road Map’ article (Nov-Dec 2004). Adequate reference to my role with the Arts Council is included in the July–August issue on page 4. Interested readers in search of retrospective information can find out what was going on in the Arts Council and traditional music during my time there (July 1986–January 2003) by referring to the annual reports which are accessible on the Council’s website. However Ms Fitzgerald’s letter entirely misses one of the principal points of my article – that it is difficult to excuse the Council’s continuing failure to do its job in the current resource-rich environment for the traditional arts. My focus on the present and the future is deliberate given what we know of human experience in trying to change or reinvent the past. My prior work experience has no bearing on my assessment of the current unsatisfactory situation.
Published on 1 September 2007
Dermot McLaughlin is a traditional fiddle player. Since 2003 he has been Chief Executive of Temple Bar Cultural Trust and before that (1986-2003) he worked with the Arts Council in a range of management positions, the first of which was Traditional Music Officer. He presents The Raw Bar on RTÉ 1 television.